Do Running Boards Need Any Maintenance?

Published May 24, 2024

Running boards add style and functionality to trucks and SUVs. They provide an extra step for passengers to get in and out of the vehicle. However, there is a prevalent concern among car enthusiasts about whether running boards can cause rust and if they require any maintenance. Let's delve into this topic to find out the truth.

Do Running Boards Cause Rust?

First and foremost, whether or not running boards cause rust largely depends on the material they are made of. Most running boards on the market today are constructed using either stainless steel or aluminum. These materials are well known for their corrosion resistance properties, making them suitable for withstanding exposure to the elements without causing rust. However, it's essential to note that no material is entirely immune to rust under certain circumstances, so ensuring proper maintenance is still crucial.

Do Running Boards Need Any Maintenance?

Proper maintenance is essential to keep running boards in top shape. Regular cleaning is one of the key maintenance tasks to prevent rust and damage. Road salt, dirt, mud, and other contaminants can accumulate on the running boards, promoting the corrosion process. Washing your running boards regularly, especially after driving on salted roads or off-road adventures, can significantly reduce the risk of rust formation. It's recommended to use mild soap or a cleaning solution specifically designed for automotive purposes and a soft brush or sponge to avoid scratching the surface.


Aside from cleaning, another maintenance task that running boards may require is occasional waxing or applying a protective coating. Waxing the running boards helps create a barrier against water, dust, and other corrosive elements, thus reducing the risk of rust. If your running boards are made of stainless steel or aluminum, a specialized metal protectant can be used instead of wax to ensure long-lasting protection against corrosion. Simply follow the manufacturer's instructions when applying the protective coating or wax.

Inspecting for Damage or Rust

Additionally, it's essential to regularly inspect the running boards to identify any signs of damage or rust. Scratches or chips in the coating can expose the underlying metal to moisture and promote rusting. If you notice any damage, addressing it as soon as possible is crucial. Small scratches or chips can be filled with touch-up paint or clear coat to prevent further corrosion. In case of significant damage, such as deep scratches or dents, it might be necessary to seek professional help or even consider replacing the running boards.

It's worth mentioning that the mounting brackets or hardware used to install running boards can also contribute to rust formation if they are made of low-quality materials or not secured properly. Therefore, it's important to ensure that the brackets and hardware are made of corrosion-resistant materials and regularly checked for any signs of rust or damage. If necessary, consider replacing them with high-quality stainless steel or aluminum parts to prevent rust from developing.

Professional Vehicle Customization Services with Village Truck Visions 

Overall, running boards themselves, especially if made of stainless steel or aluminum, do not typically cause rust. However, proper maintenance is essential to minimize the risk of corrosion. Regular cleaning, waxing or applying a protective coating, and inspecting for damage are vital routine maintenance tasks. By taking care of your running boards diligently, you can ensure they not only enhance the appearance and functionality of your vehicle but also remain corrosion-free for years to come. Contact Village Truck Visions today to learn how we can help customize your vehicle! 

Copyright Village Truck Visions | Privacy Policy